|ATLANTA, Jan. 7, 2004 - InterContinental Hotels
Group [Lon: IHG;NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] boasts three franchises named in the
top 75 U.S. franchises according to Franchise Times magazine. InterContinental
Hotels Group (IHG) franchises ranked as follows: the Holiday Inn(R) Hotels
and Resorts franchise ranked 15, the Holiday Inn Express(R) franchise ranked
47, and the Crowne Plaza(R) franchise ranked 65. The magazine's Top
200 list is based on system-wide sales and units, and is considered the
franchise industry's gold standard.
IHG is the second largest hotel group in the world with more than 3,400 hotels and 530,000 guestrooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. All three franchises benefit from the size, scope and brand strength of the IHG network.
"IHG's heritage is best evidenced in our strong franchising capability," said Kirk Kinsell, senior vice president, Americas franchising and business development, InterContinental Hotels Group. "Our integrated approach helps unify marketing initiatives so our hotels benefit from each others efforts and learn from each other -- while keeping the brands distinct and differentiated to their customer segments. IHG does this by offering current and prospective franchisees a multi-brand marketing platform comprised of its Enterprise Values -- technology, global reservations centers, global sales, performance support, and Priority Club(R) Rewards."
IHG has been a leader in the technology sector including the e-commerce arena. IHG experiences over 7 million visits to its Web site each month. Plus, Internet revenues have increased by 50 percent since the launch of the industry leading Lowest Internet Rate Guarantee (LIRG) more than one-year ago. IHG was the world's first hotel company to offer the LIRG. This is a consumer promise that states every hotel reservation booked directly through an InterContinental Hotels Group Web site is guaranteed to have the lowest rate publicly available on the Internet for that hotel.
Global Reservations Centers
HOLIDEX(R) Plus links hotels directly to various Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and travel Web sites. HOLIDEX Plus is far more than an inventory and rate system, it is strategic revenue system. This includes the ability to set and fence rates giving your hotels business and market requirements. It will allow a hotel to create programs that will compete in your unique market like tailor driven-promotions -- resulting in increased revenue and a wider choice of personalized packages for guests.
In 2003, IHG almost doubled its global sales force. Sales and marketing efforts are integrated on several levels -- global, regional and local to ensure each hotel benefits from the efforts of the entire corporation and that individual marketing activities strengthen the entire brand. Members of the global sales team are placed throughout the world including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and London.
More than bricks and mortar, a great hotel is a product of its staff. As you enter the IHG "Family of Brands", franchisees are assigned a Field Services Representative and a Service Manager to act as consultative extensions of IHG and help ensure easy brand and quality standards integration. They consult on the areas of guest service, quality, revenue management, policy, procedures, systems, and new initiatives.
Priority Club(R) Rewards
Priority Club Rewards is one of the largest hotel guest loyalty programs in the world. Unifying the InterContinental Hotels Group global portfolio in nearly 100 countries, Priority Club Rewards spans some of the most trusted hotel brands in every pricing tier, from upscale to extended stay. Priority Club Rewards provides more member-preferred features than any other hotel loyalty offering, combining more sought-after benefits into one powerful program that is simple and easy. With more than 18 million members worldwide, Priority Club business comprises over 25 percent of the brand portfolio's global business.
"We continue to look for opportunities to grow our franchise support capabilities and refine products accordingly," said Kinsell. IHG is growing its franchise support capabilities by partnering and maximizing relationships with groups like the International Association of Holiday Inns (IAHI) franchisee organization. The IAHI is pursuing best practice sharing across hotels and regions to help each operator improve both revenue gains and profitability.
"One of the best things about IHG brands is their strength in the market," said Leroy Lail, incoming chairman for IAHI, InterContinental Hotels Group owner's association. "IHG and IAHI have a strong partnership built on trust and respect. The company's industry experience and expertise provide support systems that drive profitability -- and the organization understands our needs."
Plus continued product refinement to meet franchisee needs is another area in which IHG excels. The latest example of product refinement is the Holiday Inn prototype, which was re-launched in 2000. Seventy percent of the hotel is dedicated to generating revenue. This Holiday Inn is a balanced, full-service property that sits on two and a half acres and has 100-150 rooms and 1,700 square feet of meeting space in the larger hotels. Back office and operational space is more compact, but the full-service standards we know are important to our guests have been maintained such as a full-service restaurant, lounge, meeting space, business services and of course -- the pool.
According to Kinsell "When you are part of a company like IHG where innovation is at the heart of every brand -- you are sure to succeed. We will continue to be the company that refines its products to meet franchisee market needs, looks at new ways to increase revenue, and pioneers industry-setting trends like our "Lowest Internet Rate Guarantee".
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, more than 3,400 hotels and 530,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world.
InterContinental Hotels Group
|Also See:||Holiday Inn Express Overhauls Breakfast Bar at 1,200 Properties; Features Proprietary Cinnamon Roll and Arabica Coffee / March 2003|
|InterContinental Hotels Reducing Call Center Employees by About 500; Shuts Singapore and Carey, N.C., Call Centers / July 2003|